UK online ad viewability rose from 49% in Q2 to 52% in Q3, for the first time this year – but still lags far behind the other major EU ad markets such as France and Germany.
In Q3 2015, 52% of online ads served in the UK met the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that an ad is considered viewable if 50% of it is in view for at least 1 second.
Viewability in the UK is still well below that of Germany (even though levels there dropped from 64% to 61%) and France (with a huge rise from 62% to 69%).
“Viewability levels are, at last, heading in the right direction as the industry increasingly gets to grips with the issue but there’s still a long way to go,” said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ Director of International Business. “Based on the IAB’s latest digital ad spend report¹ our data suggests about £260 million was wasted in Q3 on unseen ads – equivalent to over £1bn a year.”
The report reveals ‘Half-page’ ads are the most viewable (72%) ad format, followed by ‘Billboards’ (67%). ‘Leaderboards’ are the least viewable (40%) format.
“The main reason ads aren’t viewable is they take too long to load – about 20% of ads served don’t load before a viewer has moved elsewhere,” says Joshi. “Consequently, the industry has much to do in terms of increasing web-page performance and ad serving systems, notably, to drastically reduce the amount of web browser redirects that go on behind the scenes before content is loaded.”
As well as a rise in overall viewability levels, the average time viewable ads (those meeting the 50%/1 second rule) were in view rose from 29.5 seconds in Q2 to 31.2 seconds in Q3.